Resin development for fast cycle time composite processing

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bolton
Department Name: Centre for Materials Res and Innovation


New composite fabrication processes do not come along very often. Quickstep offers marked improvements in composites properties along with much faster and more controllable cure cycles attracting significant industrial interest at this time. The aim of this program is to undertake a basic study to develop resins suited to fast cure cycles and to establish their rheological and subsequent mechanical properties.Conventional aerospace pre-pregs, cured using the Quickstep process to provide high heating and cooling rates in previous work, exhibited improved chemical and mechanical properties. Proposed explanations for these improvements include; (i) a modification of the polymer-network configuration and cross-link density caused by a combination of high-rate curing and rapid setting of the network configuration during cooling and/or (ii) improved fibre surface wetting caused by the reduced viscosity of the resin system during the cure and consolidation processes. The first and primary objective of this proposed research program is to investigate these theories and quantify the effect of high cure process heat-transfer-rates on the physico-chemical properties of conventional epoxy-based pre-preg materials


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